In honor of spring’s arrival, I wanted to share this cartoon gem about the seasons. In 1934, three years before Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiered, Disney wanted to experiment with drawing lifelike “adult” human characters in preparation for Snow White. The result was The Goddess of Spring.
Loosely based on Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and harvest-goddess, Demeter. She was tricked into marriage by Hades. Once a year she has to go to the underworld and during that time we experience winter, and when she returns, the flowers start to bloom again and we experience spring!
While sticking true to the myth, Disney does portray Hades as Satan (who happens to sing opera!) and the underworld as hell. One of my favorite scenes is when Hades brings Persephone to hell for the first time, his demon minions throw a big jazz party!
Yes, it’s silly and dated, but if you’re an animation devotee you’ll find it a lot of fun. You can see the animation style emerge that made Snow White such a masterpiece.